The Strangers: Prey at Night is not the most original horror slasher, but at least it’s over quickly

The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018) – Film Review

The Strangers: Prey at Night film poster

The Strangers: Prey at Night film poster

The Strangers: Prey at Night is a sequel to a popular horror slasher from a decade ago but so much time has now passed that you’d be hard pressed to remember the original ever coming into cinemas. It was very popular for a slasher film but Halloween remains more recognisable as the pinnacle of that particular genre. 

Two things come to mind when thinking about the recently released sequel – the homage to the 80s extends right through the sound track but also into the plot which seems very unreconstructed in a post-Scream era – especially in the way it fails to deal with teenagers and their mobile phones and then devolves into the usual slasher horror by numbers.

At least we start with some decent character set-up – led by the reliable presence of Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks (Drive, 2011) – as the mother of a family who are taking their troubled daughter Kinsey (Bailee Madison) across country to enrol at a boarding school because of some serious family issues.

Her husband Mike (Martin Henderson) and son Luke (Lewis Pullman) are along for the ride and they are due to stop at an uncle’s remote holiday trailer park – out of season – but find a nasty surprise waiting for them.

Strangers doesn’t overstay its welcome, at just 85 minutes, but there remains the distinct impression that there’s hardly anything new in this film for horror fans apart from an interesting sequence in a swimming pool.

It’s a functional, occasionally chilling, nihilistic slasher movie. But perhaps not an exceptional example of one this time around, even with the claim of being based on ‘true events’.

The Strangers: Prey at Night (15; strong threat, violence, injury detail, language; 85 minutes)

Director(s):  Johannes Roberts

Cast Includes: Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson, Emma Bellomy, Lewis Pullman, Damian Maffei

Summary: THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT is a US horror thriller sequel in which a family are stalked by three masked killers at a deserted trailer park.

Rating: ** (Not the most original horror slasher, but at least it’s over quickly)